Kay dials up heat, Tellez locks in at plate as Blue Jays win spring opener

TORONTO – Like with several of the young starters turned into relievers a year ago, the Toronto Blue Jays are stretching out left-hander Anthony Kay this spring. What that means for his usage in 2021 is uncertain at this point, although his two clean innings in Sunday’s 6-4 win over the New York Yankees in the Grapefruit League opener, in which his fastball sat at 94.7 m.p.h., and topped out at 97, made for a head-turning debut.

“He was impressive because of how hard he was throwing,” said manager Charlie Montoyo. “The one thing I noticed when he got here three weeks ago is that he was in really good shape. His fastball had life. It was good to see.”

What will be closely watched is whether the 25-year-old can sustain that uptick as he gets further stretched out. For now, the Blue Jays see Kay as part of a depth layer of starters behind the rotation, but another multi-inning southpaw coming out of the bullpen throwing gas like Ryan Borucki makes for an intriguing option.

Especially if a cutter he picked up from Borucki and eventually debuted last season continues to take the way it did Sunday, when one offered to Aaron Judge was fouled off and another to Luke Voit produced a routine flyout.

Refining the offering was one of his off-season focal points, while a priority this spring will be commanding his fastball more effectively, something he…

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